MAINTENANCE

SAM is the result of SITE's experience with several highly specialised products and solutions, as well as the need to achieve a multi-technological system to unify the management of multivendor environments.
 

SAM

The SAM system (Sistema di Aiuto alla Manutenzione, or Maintenance Assistance System) is an automated system that uses flexible and scalable architecture to manage different types of generic distributed systems with respect to:
  • Supervision
  • Control
  • Maintenance support
SAM was developed as a SCADA system for railways with a corresponding safety level, but it can be adapted for the supervision and control of any complex electronic or electromechanical system.
The SAM system therefore makes it possible to develop supervisory, control and maintenance support services that are flexible and stable for multivendor and complex realities like rail networks, pipelines, hospitals, etc.
SITE SpA's experience with different products and highly specialised solutions in the field of Telecommunications, Transportation, Networking, Security and Energy has made the company aware of the need for a system capable of embracing various technologies for the proper management of multivendor environments. The SAM system was developed in this context: a tool able to unify supervision, maintenance support and control of highly diversified systems into a single system.
In fact, the SAM system features a highly integrated control and supervision system that provides simple tools, easy to read and intuitive for the operators that today find themselves having to maintain increasingly complex systems, often consisting of several sub-systems, each very different from the other.

The objective of the SAM system is to converge all messaging, alarms or warnings of all the sub-systems making up a macro-system into a gateway capable of collecting and organising the data to make them available in a simple and immediate way to the operator. The SAM system also provides a tool for the remote control of distributed objects such as, for example, air conditioners, power supplies or lighting.
advantages
Full Connectivity
Thanks to the possibility of being installed on mobile devices like tablets, hand-held computers or smartphones and the automatic sending of text messages and emails, SAM provides full coverage for the maintenance operator working in the field. Furthermore, with access to user and maintenance manuals and to the first troubleshooting for each piece of equipment, the maintenance operator is automatically guided through the initial analysis and correction of the problem.

Possibility of integrating diversified subsystems
Modern needs require the ability to unify the supervision and control of multiple subsystems under a single tool. Typically, each complex system can use different protocols or technologies for the management and transmission of data of each sub-component. The SAM system provides a unique tool able to "speak" multiple languages across different channels of communication, like:
  • Ethernet ports
  • RS-232 serial ports
  • RS-485 serial ports
  • CAN-BUS
  • Legacy
The different technologies are available on separate and expandable modules, allowing the system to be adapted according to the needs.

Ease of access to information
Practical and efficient access to information streamlines maintenance procedures for multivendor systems. Being able to constantly monitor the state of infrastructures responsible for the proper functioning of a generic system makes it possible to focus resources and efforts where they are truly needed, providing a clear picture of priorities.
For this reason, the SAM system can aggregate all the data coming from the gateways distributed in the various areas being monitored to a centralised control panel to supervise and monitor the status of multiple subsystems, allowing effective planning of maintenance activities.
Characteristics and capabilities
Supervision, control and maintenance support in served environments
Highly served entities like rail networks and gas pipelines require the ability to interconnect the elements of various subsystems via WAN, linking the various geographically dispersed sites or stations.
The SAM system responds to this need by providing interfaces for different technologies suitable for managing information in different geographical areas. Some supported WAN technologies are:
  • G.703: E1 flows suitable for transport over SDH
  • Ethernet
  • ADSL
  • GSM/GSM-R
Managing large volumes of data
The size of complex systems like railway networks or hospitals, where hundreds of objects must be continuously monitored and/or controlled for proper operation of the system, requires the use of suitably sized hardware/software to meet the performance demands. The SAM system provides for the collection of all data generated by the different supervised or monitored objects to one or more central servers that organise, process and structure the information.
Being a modular system, the hardware that will manage the information in the database will be appropriately sized to properly handle the data processing.

Availability and Reliability
The SAM system offers various solutions for optimising reliability and therefore system availability:
  • Redundant central servers
  • Database backup systems
  • Redundant gateway resources
Resilience
In some contexts it may be necessary to install gateways - which must be connected to the equipment to be supervised - in industrial environments, or in any case not adequately protected against external agents like dust or temperature fluctuations.
The SAM system responds to this need by offering a range of equipment suitable for industrial environments, with different protection levels and operating in a wide range of temperatures.

Technological reactivity
The speed at which today's technologies evolve and adapt to continuously new market demands calls for constant updating in terms of protocols and systems supported.
The SAM system responds to this need with a hardware and software structure developed using individual adaptable and expandable modules that are easily upgradeable. In particular, the SAM system's gateways are built on a motherboard to which other boards or modules can be attached according to the technological requirements.

Reliable and targeted maintenance tools
The SAM system uses an intuitive graphical interface that can be customised according to customer requirements, featuring a top-down approach that, starting from an initial general overview, allows the user to drill down to the problem in two or three steps.
The SAM system offers a set of tools that simplifies and speeds procedures for identifying, diagnosing and resolving a problem using a multi-level platform. For example, the system can be managed from:
  • A central location with complete visibility of all places/sites hosting supervised systems. The information gathered helps to:
    • Quickly and intuitively identify a possible faulty component through a top-down search
    • Provide suggestions for preliminary activities to circumvent the problem and accelerate the troubleshooting phase
    • Reconstruct the past events using windows dedicated to past alarms and a chronological list of events
    • Remote control of the supervised entities for a first level of intervention
  • Possibility of connecting directly to the local gateways to quickly and independently access the information offered by the SAM system
  • Possibility of sending text messages to mobile phones to quickly notify operators of a need for service
Ticket management
The SAM system offers a tool for managing active alarms using a ticketing system. With any alarm generated by a malfunction or generic issue the local RTU sends an alarm to the management and control centre. The system can then be configured to react to the problem. In fact, it can be programmed to automatically generate a new ticket by:
  • Assigning a unique ticket ID code
  • Recording a Time Stamp to memorise the sequence of events
  • Assigning a maintenance operator based on the type of malfunction and area
  • Sending text messages and emails to the appropriate personnel
  • Proposing possible solutions
The alarm and its corresponding ticket remain active until the problem is resolved.

Video surveillance integration
The SAM system offers the possibility of connecting to the video surveillance system to provide a support tool for maintenance and troubleshooting.
In case of alarm, the camera covering the affected area can be turned on to investigate the cause of the problem.